Daddy, you emptied oxygen
into one of her honeycombs. I was perfect,
an amber bead on your tongue
when you kissed mummy, filled her
bones with bees. The dead are lonely.
I walk to the river and sing to you, move
the planchette among smooth stones and reeds.
The terrible smell of sweat and sweet gas,
her hand on my mouth. If I am a good
girl, I will get a butterscotch treat or a bright
mandarin orange until we sleep. I go
to the river to sip rainbows. I chip away
your name where mummy disappeared
into the earth. If you can have two little
girls, I can have two queens. The letters move
merrily and we will play until you are old
and I am no longer afraid. The rabbits I free
circle the wild fields and I wrestle
the weasel and the hawk. You are responsible
for all my other deaths. I carry sacks
of dirt into your lungs and throw you
like a curse into the Teign, Dart, Taw
and East Okement. We wait for the others.
A brother who melts the blackness of a crow,
a sister who baptizes our wings with rain.
Laurie Byro has been facilitating “Circle of Voices” poetry discussion in New Jersey libraries for over 16 years. Laurie was named “Poet of the Decade” by the Interboard Poetry Community as her poems received awards 42 times including 2012 Poem of the Year as judged by Toi Derricotte.